Andy Lloyd – Electron bombardment points to Dark Star?

A NASA array of balloons high up in the Antarctica’s stratosphere has picked an anomalous bombardment of high-energy electrons from deep space.  The source is undetected, and mysterious.  Have scientists finally stumbled across the Dark Star? 

The Earth is being bombarded with high energy electrons from a mysterious source.  These have been detected by balloons high in the Stratosphere over Antarctica – a cosmic ray-detecting array known as “Advanced Thin Ionization Calorimeter” (ATIC). This research is funded by NASA, who have released results showing an abundance of high-energy electrons (1). 

“This is a big discovery,” says co-author [of the 20/11/08 “Nature” article] John Wefel of Louisiana State University. “It’s the first time we’ve seen a discrete source of accelerated cosmic rays standing out from the general galactic background.” (1)

Scientists believe that these mysterious electrons have come from a relatively nearby source: a powerful source that is capable of accelerating electrons.  They have proposed a set of possible candidates, which may even include a cloud of dark matter.

“The least exotic possibilities include, e.g., a nearby pulsar, a ‘microquasar’ or a stellar-mass black hole—all are capable of accelerating electrons to these energies. It is possible that such a source lurks undetected not far away.” (1)

Such objects would be found hundreds of light years away, it is thought.  The ATIC array of balloons has not been able to pinpoint the exact source of these high-energy electrons, so detailed studies of the source have not yet been possible.  The balloons’ wobbly motion in the air, and the effects of other factors, like magnetic fields, have distorted the data.  But what is known for sure is that a powerful, undetected source is sending high-energy electrons out into the Cosmos, and that it is being detected in the skies over Antarctica.

How nearby?  High-energy electrons lose their energy over time, due to scattering by collision with photons, and the effects of the galactic magnetic field. So that limits the distance of the source to a few thousand light years.  Intensity is the key here.  Pulsars can be detected from incredible distances because of their intensity of emission of radio signals.  However, what if a much smaller source was producing and emitting these high energy electrons, and sending them our way?  What if that much smaller source, was much, much closer? 

There’s a choice here: a big source, far away.  Or a small source, close-up.

Lee Covino sent me this news item, and indicated that I should also take a look at an article about brown dwarfs which he had read recently. This article described how brown dwarfs produce anomalously strong, pulsed radio emissions, in a similar manner to the action of pulsars.  The gas giant Jupiter is active in this way – its rapid rotation promotes electron acceleration when electrically charged gas from Io is accelerated by the planet’s magnetic field.  Brown dwarfs seem to exhibit the same properties, in a different way to, say, a standard star like our Sun.  It would appear that brown dwarfs are capable of punching well above their weight in this regard.  This is a theme that we have looked at on the Dark Star theory website before.

In fact, brown dwarfs can be a bit like pulsars, in terms of their high-energy emissions.  They’re not nearly as powerful, obviously, but they exhibit the same characteristics through their persistent emission of radio signals (2).  The pulsing source of radio signals detected from some brown dwarfs are the result of high-energy electrons accelerating into the brown dwarf’s magnetic field.

It follows from this that some of these high-energy electrons might also be scattered. It also follows that if the brown dwarf in question was close enough, we would then detect those high-energy electrons. 

The brown dwarf would also not need to be stellar.  As we have noted, Jupiter exhibits this same kind of behaviour too, so it stands to reason that a sub-brown dwarf with its own planetary system could fit the bill.  Such a system might have an active planet or planets, like Io, which are feeding the magnetic field of the sub-brown dwarf with electrically-charged gas.

I think this is an exciting possibility.  For the first time, high energy particles from a nearby binary companion may have been detected.  It is a pity that we don’t have a better location for this source, but this is a start, at least.


By Andy Lloyd, 22nd November 2008, author of ‘The Dark Star’


(1) Dr Tony Phillips “Discovered: Cosmic Rays from a Mysterious, Nearby Object” 19th November 2008,

(2) Centauri Dreams “A Brown Dwarf’s Powerful Beacon” 20th April 2007,

~ by andylloyd on November 23, 2008.

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